War has been a part of human culture since it's birth. It has led to a great many massacres and has shown us the evil that exists within the souls of humanity. Some have even /gone as far as saying that war is human nature. To better understand the reasons behind war and how it affects others, I've examined several different societies and cultures so as to better understand the necessity of war and see the cause of their external war attitude. To do so, different variables from two topics (military institutions and external war attitude) were matched up and crossed so as to look into the answers to these questions. The variables were then calculated and through these graphs, I was able to find different societies in which these variables applied to. The different variables that I looked into were th/ose/at/ of hostility toward other societies, acceptability of violence toward people in other societies, decision to engage in war, leadership during battle, and the value of war: violence against non-members or groups. It is through looking into these variables that I'd like to test my hypothesis on how a countr/y's/ies/ holdings and military prowess causes more of an aggressive external war attitude towards surrounding countries and societies. With this in mind, I'd also like to /look further /look/ into each culture to see if the greatness of being a warrior increases the aggression on the outside peoples.
Through my research of the various variables, I came across several different societies that scored highly on my variable chart. To further test my hypothesis, I've taken these various variables and researched them through different societies to either prove or disprove m hypothesis.
During battle, leadership among the Somalis is led by a general who the king feels will be the right one only after having a consultation with the appropriate spirits. He also selected the people of certain sazas "to guard the king." These people did so simply by staying home. The leaders of the armies were forceful during wartime. "Every able bodied man was expected to turn out, but though the penalty for cowardice in the field was instant death by burning, people who simply stayed at home were merely fined on their chief's return (P. 193 Philips)."
The generals were important as a moral rallying-point. It is said that the army would lose heart if their general is killed in battle , but as soon as his successor is found, their courage would return. The decision to engage in war was made mainly by the king and his orders were then carried out by his chiefs. The message of war would then be indicated through the beating of war drums which would be kept up and passed in that soon the alarm would go through the whole country.
Another variable in which I look at is that of the prestige associated with being a soldier or warrior. In this there is a greatness to being a warrior. As mentioned earlier, wealth came with courage of a warrior in war. A warrior with war paint showed that he is one really fierce guy. The weapons used were two spears, a stick, and a wicker-work shield. Warriors would never leave home without it. If a warrior shows weakness, he is humiliated or even killed. Warriors are seen very seriously and have high expectations to fulfill. Such warriors were able to climb the ranks if they prove themselves during battle. They would receive a promotion, a share of the spoils that were captured during the battle, and even given a chieftainship.
War was seen as a necessary action with high value. As mentioned earlier, those who fought in wars were looked upon greatly and very respected. The object of a war expedition was general for the reduction of a tribe who threatened to become dangerous. Most wars generally lasted until the enemy were considered to have been reduced to submission-generally some six or eight weeks.
War was started in many ways within the Maori. Some wars could easily be started by the boasting of a chief. "An inimical act, such as murder by an individual of another tribe, was sufficient cause for an attack against the culprit's tribe, and, son long as some members of that tribe were killed, it did not matter if the real culprit escaped (p388 Buck)." The constant inner-tribal conflicts led to such bitter feuds that the tribes kept an account of their victories and defeats with other tribes. They would obtain payment for the defeat of a tribe by getting revenge and, in a way, establish a credit balance by an extra victory.
The warriors of the Maori chiefs were the reason for the power that a chief gains. "The fame of the warrior was held to be transient as compared with that of the provider of food, yet the fact remains that noted warriors received more publicity in song and story that their contemporaries in the peaceful arts (p399, Buck)." The fame of noted warriors spread far beyond their tribal bounds and intense rivalry and jealousy existed among the champions of the different tribes. Warriors would thus find descriptions of their rivals so that they would better be able to identify the them on a crowded battlefield. Warriors also were able to gain prestige from the quality of the men that they killed and not from the number of men that they had killed. This was similar to the battles as well. No matter how great a number of the dead and deceased after a battle, if there was no chief killed, the battle was not one to talk about. Usually if a person of the opposing tribe were to be captured, he would be taken as a slave or even eaten. Eating one's enemy shows an intense hate for that person.
They protected the villages and made sure that villages were ready for an upcoming attack. They were heavily relied upon by the chief of a village and by the village's people. Warriors were sent out to ascertain the whereabouts of the enemy while others were encouraged to make weapons and otherwise prepare themselves to defend the village. If there really was not a need for a large army of warriors, they would then move along to different villages to give them a hand in their procedures in preparing for an enemy surprise attack.
Villages mainly contained two chiefs. These two chiefs were the war
chief and the council chief. In the past, only worthy men were chiefs though
a good chief and the country were synonymous. The Hurons were more organized
than most others in that they formed a group known as the Huron League
in which different villages met together made their treaties.
An interesting thing about the Huron was their situation in which prisoners were concerned. If a prisoner were taken during a war, these prisoners would be then burnt and eaten. The captives would also be sent to different tribes and could be made as a substitute for a deceased family member who died in a war. These prisoners would then be tortured by the family in which they were taken into. In some cases, they would be tortured for three days straight. They would burn the person and humiliate the prisoner. On the third day, that prisoner would be burned and then eaten. Some captives who were captured young, were trained to fight as one of the villages own warriors and when they grew up, they went to war against their own parents and men of their nation as bravely as if they had been born enemies of their own country. If the warriors were unable to carry off the women and children they had captured, they put them to death and cut off the heads or the hairy scalp. At some moments, they would be brought back to be tortured to death. Yet even the tears of the tortured women did not have even the slightest effect on the torturers.
The Aztec regarded war as something sacred. They were a people whose empire rested on foundations of war and human sacrifice and yet were refined lovers of beauty. "The mystique of perpetual was and human sacrifice in order to maintain the life of the universe coexisted with more humane readings in Tenochititlan itself (p44, Keen)." The Aztec had gone through innumerable wars in the name of the "cosmic need for human sacrifice." It is through this that we see two different frames of mind in the Aztec society: "on the one hand, a degenerate mysticism supporting an ambitious strategy of conquest; on the other, the doctrine of Quetzalcoatl that inner perfection and spiritual sacrifice formed the only moral basis of life (p45, Keen)." The Aztec became more militaristic after the change of outlooks due to the genius of the Aztec military leader Tlacaelel. He was known as the Aztec Alexander. He fastened upon his people the cult of warfare and human sacrifices as a means of preserving the life of the sun. It was not until the end of the fifteenth century in which the Aztecs gave into the primacy of the cult of was and human sacrifice and it's military virtues. This happened due to the tension between the political and economic evolution. "Predatory warfare poured into Tenochtitlan and its allied cities a mass of wealth, of luxury goods, that in time engendered milder manners and attitudes, a growth of refinement, a revival of the "Toltec" ideals of life. But these flowers grew on the soil of perpetual war that was sanctioned by the cosmic need for human sacrifice (p47, Keen)." Their conquest for more riches interrupted the Aztec internal evolution. It prevented them from achieving such an advance and attaining new levels of material, social, and intellectual greatness.
The Aztecs waged wars with or without cause. Refusal to pay tribute would be a sufficient reason to go to war with another peoples. Injuries to Aztec merchants by people of another region was cause for an invasion. These merchants also prepared the way for conquest by reporting on the resources and defenses of the regions in which they traded. The Aztecs waged war according to a complex ritual; "successive embassies were sent to a recalcitrant people with warnings to submit within a specified period of time; these ambassadors brought symbolic gifts of war clubs and shields to the prospective foes and performed various ritualistic acts (p12, Keen)." If the other group of people did not submit, the Aztecs began preparations for war. The leaders of the armies were the Clan leaders. They were the ones who made sure that preparations of supplies were ready to muster up their forces. The warriors were known to the Aztecs as the "valiant men." There was much honor and respect that went to being a warrior. The downfall of the Aztecs came with the approach of the Spanish invaders. Their own allies turned on the Aztecs due to their arrogance and soon, their powerful nation was wiped from the face of the earth.